"Proud" Parenting Moment: Learn from the Master

I was outside today working on the car when my wife drove up returning from running errands. She got out and disbelievingly asked me, "Did you really say that?!" "Say what?" She then showed me my 16-year-old daughter's tweet:

My daughty then Tweeted, "I shouldn't be laughing cause everyone is ticked but that was really funny."

I'm normally a bit more composed so I think my wife was somewhat impressed.

Rewind. So here's what happened: I had just got on the younger kids a few times about their chores. "Just get it done and quit complaining!" There. I thought I had it all taken care of and I could take a relaxing shower as they completed said tasks. Silly me. Just a few moments after getting in I hear one of them yelling and bossing the other around. And I'm thinking and fuming, "Sheesh! Really?! C'mon! You've got to be kidding!" Yet there I am stuck in the shower with no re-course... I can't do anything about it now and I don't want to get out to deal with it—I just got in, for Pete's sake! There was nothing in that moment as a parent that I could do. Or so I thought.

And thus the tweet.

As a parent trainer I preach the importance of not making empty threats you're not willing to enforce. However, that was one threat I knew I wouldn't have to carry out. I think the shock and horror of the imagined potential of what could happen was more than enough to get them hustling.

Fast forward. My tweeting daughter later came out while I was working on the car. I asked her to come over and talk to me. She smiled, put her head down sheepishly and backed away. I laughed and said, "Yeah, mom showed me your tweet. What I want to know was as a parent did I go up in your estimation or down?" "Hmmm... I don't know... It was just really funny... and disturbing." I told her I figured she'd probably need a few sessions of therapy to deal with the trauma of that image emblazoned upon her mind.

So that folks is the expert parent trainer at his finest. I hope you were taking notes.